The NAACP is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. As the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, the NAACP has worked successfully with allies of all races who believe in and stand for the principles on which this organization was founded. The public policy fellow will work on advancing and monitoring portions of the NAACP’s policy agenda. This position will require the ability to understand the governmental affairs as well as the NAACP public policy agenda, and strategies for implementing and promoting that agenda.
SUMMARY OF DUTIES:
-In collaboration with senior level staff, develop and support the implementation of the NAACP’s policy agenda.
-Working closely with senior level staff, design and execute strategies for effective dissemination of research and communication documents to advance the policy agenda of the NAACP.
-With leadership from senior level staff, design and implement convening, briefings and roundtables in support of the NAACP’s agenda.
-Develop a deep understanding of policy and political landscape affecting the NAACP’s core constituency; monitor and identify emerging issues relevant to the organization’s mission.
-Develop a policy framework and agenda that includes federal, state and local policy and opportunities, in close coordination with senior level staff.
-Lead implementation of research topics and publications in relevant areas; and
-Generate new policy and program ideas and thought leadership.
The ideal candidate for this position will possess many, if not all, of the following professional qualifications, competencies and personal qualities:
-Junior or senior level students
-Experience implementing complex projects aimed at informing and advancing effective policy.
-Solid knowledge of policymaking and the civil rights issues and social policy is preferred.
-Excellent applied research and analytical skills, including an ability to synthesize information and identify themes.
-Ability to think strategically, juggle multiple priorities, adjust to changing circumstances, resolve problems creatively and logically, organize time efficiently and remain attentive to details.
-Possess excellent written and oral communication skills; able to communicate complex concepts in a clear, effective manner for a general audience.
2017 Intern Reflection:
I have spent my summer as an intern at the NAACP Baltimore headquarters, focusing specifically on criminal justice. Throughout my time at the NAACP, I have been made to feel like more than just an intern. I have never once been asked to make copies – instead, I have created fact sheets for the NAACP website, researched actual legislation affecting Black Americans in Maryland and across the country, and drafted reports on criminal justice policy. My supervisors have treated me as a full member of the team, giving me real responsibilities and expecting real results. Interns here have frequent meetings with members of the NAACP staff, including department heads, the Chief of Staff, and the President / CEO. Though I interned at the NAACP during a time of transition in the administration, I did not feel as though I missed any opportunities to engage with brilliant and experienced NAACP employees.
I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work at the NAACP this summer. The importance of this organization’s work today is not lost on me. In the current political and social climate, the NAACP is needed as much as it has ever been. Luckily, the NAACP has never stopped working for justice, equality, and civil rights. I would recommend this internship to anyone with a passion for civil rights and a willingness to put in the hard work needed to achieve the successes that the NAACP is known for.
Madison Whitney '19
2016 Intern Reflection
Working as an intern and the country’s oldest, largest, and most storied civil rights organization has been an experience filled with much learning, reflection, and excitement. On the second day of the internship, on what was coined “NAACP Spirit Day,” staff donned their paraphernalia and blue and gold, the organization’s colors, to show their enthusiasm for their work there. I soon learned that interning at the organization meant more than completing tasks and long term projects--it meant joining the family. Assigned to assist with the work of the communications department, day to day tasks consisted of morning conference calls with the President & CEO of the NAACP to discuss public relations, drafting press releases to be issued by the organization and making headway on gathering statistics and talking points for one of the many speaking engagements of the President. With each passing day it became clear that my work was truly valued and I was considered to be an integral part of the team.
At times however, tragedies across the country reminded us why the NAACP continues to fight for equality for all Americans. From Orlando, Florida to Baton Rouge, Louisiana there were many times when events gaining national attention brought cause for reflection upon the state of the country as well as our role within it. The NAACP ensured that it remained steadfast in advancing its mission in the midst of these circumstances and yet more importantly, it remained a space to share thoughts and consolations. With Supreme Court rulings and verdicts in cases of police involved shootings of civilians, there was always much to be said and done at the NAACP.
My time as an intern concluded at the NAACP’s 107th Annual Convention in Cincinnati themed “Our Lives Matter, Our Votes Count.” There, still working with the communications department, I was able to hear from a number of accomplished political, community, and civil rights leaders joined together to tackle the nation’s most pressing civil rights issues of our time. On the third day of the convention, Hillary Clinton addressed the NAACP to share her thoughts on issues she believed to be most salient to African American voters. It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear from her and the many others devoted to the work of the organization. I am grateful for the opportunities given to me while working at the NAACP and glad to have joined the family.
Eni Popoola '17
2015 Intern Reflection:
The right place at the right time—in a nutshell, this is how I would describe my Director’s Internship at the NAACP’s National Headquarters in Baltimore. This summer, I have had the great honor of working for the most storied civil rights organization in the United States at a time when this country is confronting racism, and the problems it has produced, in a way that I have never before seen in my lifetime. On top of that, I am helping to tackle these important issues while living in Baltimore, where a young black man’s mysterious death while in police custody led to the most significant series of anti-police brutality protests we have witnessed since another young black male was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri last summer.
Every day at the NAACP, I truly feel like a valued member of the team, which is something that cannot be said for all internship experiences. Rather than fetching coffee or making copies, my daily responsibilities at the NAACP include researching cutting edge community development practices, aiding President Cornell William Brooks with his speeches, and helping to organize and attend rallies. I stood behind President Brooks as he announced, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, a historic march from Selma to Washington, D.C. that the NAACP will be leading later this summer. I sat beside leaders in labor rights, LGBTQ rights, environmental justice, and immigration on a bus ride from Washington, D.C. to Roanoke, VA to see this amazing coalition of organizations unite at a rally to advocate for voting rights. I hesitate to call this an internship because at times, I feel like I am engaged in work that is far above what an internship implies.
The people I have had the pleasure of working with at the NAACP have done an exceptional job of integrating me into the important work that they have been engaged in—some staff members having worked at this same organization for over 50 years. It is that dedication that allows the NAACP to continue carrying out its century-old mission to help make the United States a place where justice and equality ring true for all. I have had the opportunity to not only see this work be done first-hand, but also have a part in advancing that mission. This is an experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
It is the continuing policy of the NAACP to take affirmative action to assure equal opportunity for all current and prospective employees without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, personal appearance, marital status, familial status, family responsibility, pregnancy or other pregnancy-related conditions, childbirth, disability, military/veteran status, citizenship status, religion or political affiliation, past convictions or incarceration, prior psychiatric treatment, or any other status protected by federal or state law, local ordinance or Executive Orders. The NAACP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.